Ziggy Stardust drummer '˜expects to see Bowie on stage'

THE last surviving member of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust backing band has revealed he sometimes expects to see the late music superstar alongside him on stage.
The late Trevor Bolder (left) and Mick Woodmansey, members of the Spiders from Mars.The late Trevor Bolder (left) and Mick Woodmansey, members of the Spiders from Mars.
The late Trevor Bolder (left) and Mick Woodmansey, members of the Spiders from Mars.

Drummer Mick “Woody” Woodmansey performed on some of the key albums of Bowie’s early career including The Man Who Sold The World and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

The 66-year-old now performs the Starman singer’s early hits alongside long-time Bowie collaborator, producer Tony Visconti, Heaven 17 singer Glenn Gregory and a number of other musicians in supergroup Holy Holy.

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With Holy Holy preparing to tour the famed Ziggy album across the UK, starting at Hull City Hall on March 25, as part of City of Culture 2017, Woodmansey said he often “looks up from the kit expecting to see him (Bowie) there”.

He said: “At odd moments you can’t help but flash back, just because the numbers are his. It was harder after he just passed and Glenn Gregory found the songs really hard to actually sing and stay in tune without swallowing hard.”

The original The Spiders From Mars band featured Woodmansey, from Driffield, alongside Mick Ronson and Trevor Bolder, both from Hull.

The drummer said the band’s tour would be a chance to “celebrate” the singer, who died last January as well as Ronson and Bolder, who died in 1993 and 2013. He said he’d also been working with Rita Ora on her new album and had initially underestimated her talents. “It came out of the left field. I was like, ‘are you sure you want what I want do, I’m a hard-hitting rock guy,’ but it was exactly what she wanted,” he said.

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“I was really pleasantly surprised, she’s got a great voice and a good team around her.”

The gig in Hull comes a week ahead of BBC’s Radio 3’s Uproot Festival, part of Hull 2017 events, at Hull Truck Theatre.

The three-day festival, which starts on April 6, will celebrate the city’s rich musical heritage, and features the city’s folk royalty The Waterson Family, Eliza Carthy’s innovative Arms Wide Orchestra and special appearances from Yorkshire folk artists Fay Hield and Martin Simpson.

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